UVeye, an Israeli supplier of contact-free vehicle-inspection systems, has named two executives to head its North American management team for the launch of cost-saving products designed for car dealers, used-car auction houses and major vehicle fleets.

Glenn Hemminger joins UVeye as managing director of North American Operations, and Bob Rich will be North American sales director. The company recently announced plans to establish new offices in Ohio and New York and expects to open production and warehouse facilities in the U.S. next year.

Sites under consideration for future UVeye production facilities include locations in Michigan, Ohio and Texas, as well as several locations in the southeastern United States.

A West Point graduate, Hemminger had been director of international business development at Cleveland-based Dealer Tire. He previously had served in senior management positions at Cliffs Natural Resources and Gas Natural Inc.

Prior to joining UVeye, Rich had been a regional sales manager at Frogdata, a provider of advanced data analytics platforms for car dealerships. His sales and marketing experience includes work at DealerSocket, CDK Global, Cars.com and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UVeye’s vehicle-inspection systems are equipped with high-speed cameras and artificial-intelligence technology to check for sheet metal damage, underbody component problems and tire wear. Its technology is also used by automakers to improve manufacturing quality and by security professionals to detect bombs, weapons and other onboard-vehicle threats.

The California Assembly voted down a bill that would have had a huge negative impact on the state’s auto finance industry.

AB 2501 – the COVID-19 Homeowner, Tenant and Consumer Relief Law of 2020 – was defeated by a 28-25 vote on June 15 and the Assembly adjourned its session without taking up a motion to reconsider the measure.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Banking and Finance Committee chairwoman Monique Limón, would have prohibited creditors from repossessing vehicles until Jan. 1, 2023, and required them to provide loan forbearance for up to nine months for customers unable to make payments.

Repossessions would have been halted under AB 2501
Repossessions would have been halted under AB 2501

The Independent Automobile Dealers Association of California worked with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association to oppose AB 2501, noting its passage would drastically reduce the ability of independent dealers and auto finance companies to extend credit to consumers – especially credit-challenged individuals.

“We couldn’t be happier with the actions of the Assembly,” IADAC executive director Larry Laskowski said. ”There really was no upside to the bill. The economic impact would have been enormous. 

“Thanks to the action of IADAC and NIADA and other groups, members of the Assembly were able to make the right choice and defeat this potentially disastrous bill.”

In a letter to Limón and members of the Assembly, NIADA pointed out auto lenders assume significant risk in extending credit, which is minimized only by their ability to repossess the collateral in the event of a default. Without that ability they would be far less likely to provide credit – and those most likely to be harmed by that would be the most vulnerable and financially disadvantaged consumers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced nine companies and eight states that have signed on as the first participants in a new department initiative to improve the safety and testing transparency of automated driving systems, the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative.  The participating companies are Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber, and Waymo. The states are California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

“Through this initiative, the department is creating a formal platform for federal, state, and local government to coordinate and share information in a standard way,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Testing for automated vehicles
The NHTSA is road testing automated vehicles in 8 states

The AV TEST Initiative will include a series of public events across the country to improve transparency and safety in the development and testing of automated driving systems.

Participants can share information about their activities, which will help increase the public’s awareness of testing, centralize the department’s role in promoting safety and innovation, and build stronger relationships among Federal, State, and local governments and stakeholders.  

A Cruise Chevrolet Bolt undergoing testing in San Francisco.
A Cruise Chevrolet Bolt undergoing testing in San Francisco.

Additionally, this voluntary initiative will provide an online, public-facing platform for sharing automated driving systems testing activities and other safety-related information with the public. Online mapping tools may show testing locations at the local, state, and national levels, as well as testing activity data, which may include dates, frequency, vehicle counts, and routes.

The Federal Trade Commission is taking legal action to halt a scheme where consumers were directed to a site where they could obtain federal COVID-19 stimulus benefits, which turned out to be a used car sale.

The mailers sent by Traffic Jam Events LLC and its owner, David J. Jeansonne II, were labeled “IMPORTANT COVID-19 STIMULUS DOCUMENTS” and directed consumers to “relief headquarters” to “claim these stimulus incentives,” the FTC alleged in its lawsuit against the company and Jeansonne.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Consumer Protection Division filed a legal complaint and injunction against a Tampa advertising agency for mailing used car promotions that resembled COVID-19 stimulus checks
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed legal action April 23rd

The mailers led consumers to believe they could obtain stimulus relief temporarily in person, making multiple references both to the coronavirus pandemic and to a supposed economic stimulus program similar to the program enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the FTC alleged.

According to the complaint, the defendants’ mailers referred to an address in Florida as “relief headquarters” and “designated local headquarters,” telling consumers that they must “must claim these stimulus incentives at your designated temporary 10-day site...” The mailers also include a likeness of the Great Seal of the United States, as well as a mock check, labeled “Stimulus Relief Program.” When consumers arrived, however, they only found a lot hosting a car sale.

The FTC’s complaint notes that the defendants have been the subject of prior law enforcement actions in Kansas and Indiana, and that they are currently facing action from the state of Florida related to these mailers. The FTC’s suit asks the court to stop the defendants’ actions and to require them to provide redress to consumers. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Dealerware, a connected car platform for automotive retailers, will launch a new Contactless Contracting feature June 24. All customers will receive the new feature via a software update to Dealerware's Mobile Contracts product.

With Contactless Contracting, dealerships can send loaner vehicle agreements to customers via text message or email. Customers can review the terms of the agreement and sign for the vehicle on their own device, reducing the need for dealership employees and customers to physically share space, share devices or use impractical workarounds to complete paperwork.

Dealereare's contactless contracting app with Mobile Contracts
Dealereare's contactless contracting app with Mobile Contracts

From the service bay to the sales floor, Contactless Contracting enables dealerships to adhere to social distancing guidelines in order to protect the health of both employees and customers. Retailers are empowered to deliver exceptional customer service experiences such as touchless pickup and delivery, and unaccompanied or at-home, extended test drives.

“Automotive retail is changing faster than ever before, and while our primary goal with Contactless Contracting is to address a need for safer, more comfortable customer interactions, we also wanted to equip our customers to meet new consumer expectations for more flexible sales and service experiences,” said Russell Lemmer, president of Dealerware.

The new Contactless Contracting functionality will be a feature within Dealerware's Mobile Contracts product.

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